The title of my essay, invoking, as it does, the justifiably famous Japanese cinema verité production of Rashomon, might well strike a discordant note. My aim, however, is to clarify, not to confuse. The film describes a variety of eyewitnesses to a murder, each one of whom, infused with different motives, “saw” the event differently from the other eyewitnesses. This is little more than a modern-day version of Walter Lippmann's observations on the ideological, interest-laden nature of the formation of public opinion in modern society, but it serves us well in introducing the topic of this essay.
What I am suggesting with respect to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and what I hope to demonstrate, is that we are now experiencing a similar paradox in the sociology of knowledge.